I’m reasonably picky about the books I read. Usually my criteria is an average rating of 4.0 or better so The Burning by Jane Casey (with an average of 3.78) is unusual. But I have been looking for a good police procedural murder mystery with a female protagonist and the books by Maeve Kerrigan have been on my TBR pile for quite awhile so I decided to give Book 1 in the series a try. I’m glad I did!
If The Burning is the lowest rated book in the DC Kerrigan series then I am in for a treat as I read this series because I thought the first entry was fantastic! In The Burning we are introduced to Maeve Kerrigan as a first person character, a tall, female Police Detective of Irish descent in an all-male, chauvinistic murder squad trying to find the “Burning Man” serial killer who is bludgeoning women all over London to death and then burning their bodies. Maeve is an interesting character and when the book starts she gets assigned the case of a murder which initially appears to be the 5th Burning Man corpse but may be an attempted copy cat. The victim is Rebecca Haworth, a rich, young beautiful
woman who everyone thinks “had it all.”
In addition to Maeve's we also have chapters that are POV’s of Louise North, Rebecca’s best friend, who is suspicious of Rebecca’s ex-boyfriend Gil Maddick. Gil definitely sets off Maeve’s police intuition as NOT being a good egg and we (the reader) have an interesting set up for an intriguing puzzle.
I quite liked The Burning. It is a bit simplistic in the way it fulfills it’s genre trappings but I’m quite okay with that. (I love the police procedural British murder mystery genre!) However, I was a bit annoyed by the seemingly inevitable romantic sub-plot (with one of her co-workers, no less). Although I didn’t guess who the murderer was before it was revealed (even though it’s really not that difficult since there really are only two options to choose from ) I’m quite looking forward to reading the other books in the Maeve Kerrigan series, and I believe other fans of Peter Robinson’s DCI Alan Banks, Val McDermid’s Carol Jordan & Tony Hill or Stuart MacBride’s Logan McRae will enjoy these books.
Title: The Burning.
Author: Jane Casey.
Paperback: 354 pages.
Date Published: November 1, 2010.
Date Read: July 4, 2019.
GOODREADS RATING: ★★½☆☆ (4.0/5.0).
OVERALL GRADE: A- (3.67/4.0).